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Let's make ... Bailout at Studienka (WWII diorama project)

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And here we go again. I never get tired trying out new stuff and doing multiple projects at the same time.


The idea for this one approached me when I watched a Let's Play series by German Let's Player "DerHobbygeneral", who playes complex strategy games on PC.


That certain series was a mission in the strategy game "Combat Mission: Red Thunder", a game set on the Eastern Front of WWII. The mission is the recreation of the tank battle between German and Russian forces in the opening hours of Operation Bagration, the Soviet 1944 summer offensive that managed to crush the German Central Army and push the Germans back to the borders of East Prussia.


Combat Mission itself is a really complex game, simulating not only realistic projectile trajectories, armor and penetration calculation, but also randomly generating names for unit leaders and therefore emotionally connecting the player to his - or her - units.


One of these commanders was Unterfeldwebel Austermann, commandeering a Kpfw V Panther A, and throughout the game one of the main factors in stopping the Soviet tank assault at Studienka. The player and all commentators remarked on his excellent performance in the game and he became something like a meme. There were even suggestions of making a compilation of his best actions as some kind of memorial service in case he bit the dust.


And actually, a few episodes later, the Panther got hit a couple of times and was rendered inoperable. A shell even penetrated the front armor. While the battle for Studienka was raging, everyone focused on the question if Austermann and his crew would survive. And they did! What a remarkable turn in events! But I felt bad for the Panther, which was left behind.


Here's the scene - it's in German, unfortunately.




Then it struck me that maybe Austerman felt bad, too, and when I saw a certain figure on a miniature shop website, I KNEW I was going to make a diorama about it. So I bought a couple of figures and a cheap old Panther A kit and ... now I am on a new project again - YAY!




I haven't decided which crew I take. I like both sets, but I guess I will go with the Dragon set. The other set can be used for a different project. But I guess, I will see once the overall layout is set.


Let's go!

Edited by SisterMaryNapalm
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Tough choice between the two figure sets, they're both pretty nice.  Probably the Dragon set has a greater sense of immediacy to it, like they only just escaped the tank.  The ICM set is more "Ok, that's it for us - let's pick up our kameraden and fall back."   So whichever of those two is more the tone you want.

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On 12/25/2019 at 10:13 PM, buglips*the*goblin said:

Tough choice between the two figure sets, they're both pretty nice.  Probably the Dragon set has a greater sense of immediacy to it, like they only just escaped the tank.  The ICM set is more "Ok, that's it for us - let's pick up our kameraden and fall back."   So whichever of those two is more the tone you want.


Yeah, I think that's what I will go for. The urgency of the bailout should be a key factor for the crew. I mean - who knows when the thing will blow up, right?

Edited by SisterMaryNapalm
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On 12/27/2019 at 7:24 AM, LarsM said:

I will follow this with great interest. 


I aswell :-D




The tank crew is now ready to be painted. After I primed them I was able to see some imperfections, so I did some work on them and that's where we are now:




The tank itself is still in its box. I need to get some PE parts first.




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Time to continue: the PE parts I ordered have finally arrived. Yey!


But they are so many and so tiny I got me help.






And, of course, some progress on the crew. They are now on the brink of being painted.






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And of course I messed up - those two guys were supposed to go on here, not in my speedbuild-thread.


First two figures of my diorama finished so far.







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Good job on these!

I can see Rhini helped you a bit!

Good highlights on those uniforms!

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A little progress on the figures. Unfortunately, I somehow once again forgot how to paint black. Phew. Therefore just a bit of progress on the faces.














Then I started working on the Zimmerit, which is a lot of work ... but I will manage - at least I hope so - haha.










We'll see how that will end.


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Worked on the hull and the turret.










Some of the PE parts came off during assembly, so I had to reattach them and the stayed a bit bent and look weird. That's quite annoying and unfortunate, but cannot be changed, so I will do some more work, fill the gaps and hope for the best.


Anyway: I did a little test fitting of all the elements of the diorama and I think it will look good.






Yes. It will look good.

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As we have come this far, there are some more decisions to make.


All those decisions are important for the later appearance of the vehicle.


Due to the game's random skin generator, the skin of the vehicle changes during the battle. Everytime you reload, there's a chance the vehicle won't have the skin it had on the run before.


For Unterfeld Austermanns Panther, this meant four skins during the game.


1x tank number 231
1x tank number 405 (without any visible markings on the turret)
2x tank number 702, but with different skins.


Tank number 231 had a small vehicle marking on the back of the turret and a couple of spare tracks mounted in the aft section of the turret sides.










Tank number 405 had no markings, but a full blown set of spare tracks all over the turret.










The first 702 had one side full of tracks, but only a couple of tracks on the other side and in addition a small 702 marking at the turrets rear.








The last 702 hat a small marking at the back, a large marking on one side, and spare tracks at the aft section of the turret as well as a couple more on the left side.












The latter by the way is the tank skin that the Panther was wearing during the final shootout, where it was knocked out. So I am thinking about taking that one, but I am still not entirely sold yet.

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After some time thinking it over, I finally decided to use the last Panther skin of the group I talked about earlier.














Which means: I have to create some ricochet shot damage ...




... as well as opening all the hatches ...




So, let's get to it!






But first off: I need some more spare tracks ...


There are some included in the set, but it's not enough for the sides and the turret ... yay.

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